The Independent Day School seeks a dynamic, strategic, and entrepreneurial independent school admissions professional to serve as the Director of Enrollment Management with responsibility for leading student recruitment, admission, enrollment, and retention efforts. The successful candidate for the position will be:
Highly relational, connecting warmly with parents, students, and faculty, and adept at building strong relationships and partnerships on behalf of the school to continue to grow and sustain a diverse and inclusive community;
Highly knowledgeable of today’s admissions processes, target marketing, prospect development, and possessing an understanding of the strategic use of social media and other innovative platforms;
Highly skilled in data collection, management, analysis, and interpretation using technology tools to gather and report information, and
A self-managed, highly organized problem solver who is able to function well as a one-person Admissions Office.
Start date: July 1, 2019
The Director of Enrollment Management oversees all aspects of student recruitment and retention for the school and provides leadership in enrollment management, which includes admission, marketing, recruitment, enrollment, tuition assistance, data management and analysis, and directs the process of attracting, enrolling, and retaining students at IDS. The Director is responsible for both marketing and selling the school to the external and internal community, for developing and implementing admission policies, and for ensuring that each class is filled with and retains appropriately qualified students. Reporting to the Head of School, the Director of Enrollment Management (DEM) is a member of the Administrative Team and is responsible for leading the strategic and operational components of enrollment, developing the research necessary to inform decision-making.
Essential Job Duties
Leadership and Management
Works with senior leadership, faculty, Board, and other school constituencies to develop and articulate annual enrollment goals and admissions priorities, philosophy, and goals, in accordance with the School’s mission and based on enrollment goals set by the Board of Trustees and Head of School.
Develops long-term strategies and implementation plans in accordance with enrollment priorities and mission of IDS.
Maintains statistical and trend data related to admission and enrollment ensuring that changes and challenges are anticipated, understood, and addressed.
Initiates research studies/projects to assess the impact of admissions and financial aid policies and practices; seeks feedback from families in the application process on a regular basis.
Tracks enrollment management best practices and benchmarks locally, regionally, and nationally.
Ensures that internal constituents understand and embrace a customer service orientation for all families from inquiry to enrollment.
Provides regular reports to senior leadership, the Board, and faculty on the results of admissions activity, research, demographics, and other relevant enrollment trends,
Participates in Board of Trustee meetings and committees, is involved in strategic planning, and keeps the Board fully apprised of the School’s admission and tuition assistance endeavors.
Participates as an active member of the Administrative Team.
Works in close coordination with the Business Office to prepare and manage the departmental budget, monitoring all expenditures to assure compliance with the policies of school.
As an integral leader for the school community, participates fully in daily life of the school, maintaining a strong presence in the Early Childhood, Lower School, and Middle School divisions, and extends oneself beyond the responsibilities of a job description when the need arises.
Assists Head of School with all other duties as assigned.
Recruitment and Retention
Organizes and manages all activities to attract a diverse class of high-quality applicants to the School including communications, public relations, admission events, market research and analysis, and maintenance of the prospective student and lead database(s).
In collaboration with the Director of Marketing and Communications, assists in developing a marketing strategy that considers demographics research, market drivers, enrollment trends, and the unique needs of the school. Marketing includes internal and external brand messaging and develops and implements strategic marketing goals and objectives designed to enhance enrollment and drive market awareness (industry buzz/voice) and demand for the school’s programs and offerings, including evaluation of marketing program effectiveness.
Develops all admissions publications and communications in collaboration with the Director of Marketing and Communications, including the School’s viewbook, other print materials, and Admission Office portion of the website.
Builds strong relationships with faculty, staff, and parents within the school and assists them in articulating the school’s message.
Understands the unique history, traditions, offerings, and culture of The Independent Day School and clearly articulates to families the advantages and opportunities inherent in the IDS experience.
Serves as a compelling ambassador for the school, thoughtfully building relationships with inquiring parents, sending schools, and educational consultants, and represents the School at public events, on and off campus.
Creates annual retention plan; conceives, develops, and oversees the design and implementation of student retention strategies; oversees/assists with re-enrollment process and works closely with the Head of School on retention-related issues and student life.
Plans, manages, and implements all aspects of the school’s admissions process and serves as the chief spokesperson for the school during the admissions process.
Manages and coordinates all on-campus parent tour and student visit programs.
Responds to applicant inquiries and guides prospective families through the admissions process including records releases, preparing for visits, tuition assistance, admissions policies, etc.
Directs the entire application review process, and assigns reading and committee assignments to faculty and staff.
Reviews and reads applications.
Administers the evaluation and decision process of the Admissions Committee for establishing admissions standards and for evaluating and making final admit/deny decisions using an analytic, data-aware approach to guide admissions efforts.
Maintains respectful, informative communication with applicant families throughout the admissions process.
Recruits, trains, and deploys Admissions Office volunteers.
Works closely with the Learning Center Coordinator on admissions applications.
In conjunction with the Head of School and the Director of Finance and Operations, determines tuition assistance strategies and allocations, and organizes and administers the School’s tuition assistance program and budget utilizing an analytic, data-aware approach to guide the allocation of financial assistance.
Serves as a member of the Tuition Assistance Committee, which determines award packages of financial aid, merit scholarships, and grants for admitted students.
Performs needs analysis, packaging, counseling, phone calls, office visits, and all contacts with current and prospective tuition assistance students.
Reviews files and application materials to determine a family's ability to pay and eligibility for institutional funds.
Allocates aid in a manner that is in line with the school’s values and mission, and maintain the integrity of the award process and strategic guidelines.
Communicates respectfully with a diverse population of current and prospective students and families.
Meets with donors interested in supporting financial aid scholarship programs.
The ideal candidate will have Admission and Enrollment Management experience, high integrity, and outstanding interpersonal and organizational skills.
Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s Degree (preferred) in a related field that supports the duties and responsibilities of this position.
Five years’ experience in admissions (or equivalent relevant experience).
Experience with the entire range of communications and marketing strategy, techniques, brand management, and best practices.
Specialization in admissions and understanding of the key elements in successful recruiting in a challenging and shrinking market and prior experience with proven results to successfully meet set admissions goals.
Experience in budget allocation and making informed financial aid decisions
A statistical mindset and capacity for deep analysis and data collection and synthesis.
Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills as well as a proven ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders at all levels.
Strong skills in Google Suite, data management systems, and basic computer applications, social media tools and techniques; experience with Blackbaud; willingness and ability to learn additional applications as needed.
A passion and understanding of independent schools and the ability to convey the many benefits of the IDS and independent school experience.
The ability to both lead and execute.
Outstanding judgment and maturity.
A very high level of energy, creativity, and flexibility.
A genuine sense of humor and interest in all aspects of school life.
A positive manager and collaborator, understanding how to inspire, motivate, and partner with others in a school community.
The Independent Day School is a Preschool – Grade 8 school located in central Connecticut (30 minutes from New Haven, 30 minutes from Hartford). Founded in 1961 by families associated with Wesleyan University and Choate Rosemary Hall, IDS has a long tradition of innovative, student-centered education focused on academic excellence and social-emotional learning. The recent development of four Centers of Excellence for Environmental Literacy, Global Citizenship and Cultural Studies, Creative Arts, and Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship provides faculty and administrators with new frameworks for curricular and instructional advancement.
Quick facts about IDS: Co-ed, non-profit, non-sectarian day school. Student enrollment for 2018-19: 160. Students come to IDS from 29 Connecticut towns. Dedicated, highly educated faculty. Students of color represent 23% of the enrollment. 33 acres of woodlands, wetlands, fields, and gardens. Parent participation is encouraged